• Ron Kotrba

Neste favors Rotterdam site over Porvoo, Finland, for next biorefinery buildout


Neste's existing renewable diesel production site in Rotterdam (Photo: Neste Corp.)

A year after announcing its intention to increase production capacity of renewables in Europe, global renewable diesel producer Neste Corp.’s study of two possible sites in Porvoo, Finland, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, shows significant cost benefits of moving forward in Rotterdam. The company has existing renewable diesel manufacturing sites in both locations.


The criteria for site selection include current markets and regulatory framework supporting market growth, raw material sourcing opportunities, investment and operating costs, infrastructure and low carbon utilities, and local synergies and incentives.


“We have witnessed a constructive approach to find the best solutions to support our future growth,” said Peter Vanacker, Neste president and CEO. “Based on the thorough studies and calculations, the overall cost of the investment is significantly lower in Rotterdam. Our decision relies on ensuring our future competitiveness and our renewables’ growth strategy execution.”


According to Neste, the most important features contributing to the cost differences are logistics and site-specific construction costs, and the availability of low-carbon hydrogen supply. In addition, the Porvoo site is “more complex, which leads to a higher execution risk level and longer construction schedule,” the company said. “Rotterdam, in turn, benefits from the proximity of new markets for renewable aviation and renewable polymers and chemicals, as well as proximity to raw material sources.”


In addition to its existing renewable diesel production facility in Rotterdam, Neste recently closed on its acquisition of a Bunge plant in Rotterdam, which it will use for feedstock pretreatment. In related Rotterdam news, Vopak recently announced it was expanding tank capacity in the port to handle more storage of waste-based feedstocks such as tallow and used cooking oil. Vopak is adding 16 tanks with about 17 million gallons of additional storage capacity.


Neste expects to make a final investment decision on its plan to build out renewable production capacity in Rotterdam within a year.

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